It’s hard to bounce back from rejection and keep going. Life and art practice is inevitably crap at times and coping strategies for the lows are helpful. I’ve been reflecting about this and think this is one of the many reasons that I love collaborating on curatorial projects: the mutual support of co-curators and buoyancy of ideas. Positivity and creativity is infectious.
We had a meeting this week which was really a wellbeing check. Not ‘just’ a wellbeing check and it was not scheduled to be that – it was what was necessary. We then had a load of ideas that we could do with more time/money/energy. We would love to do studio visits and audio record conversations about art and mental wellbeing. A brew and a chat. See what our peers are up to with their practice and capture their thoughts about mental wellbeing. It could be a pub chat over a pint and a game of consequences too. At this stage we’re not going to put an open call out but if you’re local to us (Huddersfield) and fancy a coffee/pint and chat let us know.
I also had a debrief from Welland Festival this week. I ran a Button It workshop for this year’s and Dwell Time wasn’t directly involved but in the debrief I mentioned Dwell Time to a few people and there’s potential for some really interesting collaborations.
I’ve also been reflecting how dependent I’d become on facebook for my main tool of communication with the art world and local scene since having kids. Facebook has recently changed it’s algorithm and it’s become harder to reach people with events and open calls unless you pay for advertising which is apparently not great either. I went to two workshops aimed at ‘creative businesses’ and they confirmed my suspicions that it’s basically no good unless you invest literally hours a day. Having started to get out the house a bit more and talk to people face to face, I re-realised how critical it is for art practice to be out there chatting to people. I used to go to previews all the time but kids put a halt to that. My world shrank. Now they are 5 and 3, I’m starting to get back out there and remembering why it’s so important to talk to people.
Today I was doing some errands in Huddersfield and on the high street some ‘chuggers’ (charity muggers – people who approach you on the street for charity donations) were out in force. I hate this practice and generally ignore them but today they were from the Mental Health Foundation so I stopped for a chat. I told them all about Dwell Time and gave them some flyers (is that a kind of reverse chugging?). It was a really interesting chat about fundraising, mental health and ‘life journeys’ for want of a better phrase – serendipity is a good word.
Then I took the kids to a family fun day fundrasising event my friend had organised – Andy’s Man Club were there with a stall so we had a chat too. We’d previously been in touch via email about potential collaboration but to have a face to face chat – albeit impromptu and with two kids swinging off my arms, literally – was much more useful. Their strapline/hashtag is #itsoktotalk and indeed it is. It’s really good to talk.